How to plan your special day at Layer Marney Tower
Claire and Richard tell the story of planning their Layer Marney Tower wedding…
When did the proposal take place and how did it happen?
It was Christmas Day morning 2015 and Rich and I were opening presents, he then gave me what I thought was a Christmas card. After opening the card I realised it was the start of a Treasure Hunt. I was intrigued and excited by this game, so 6 cards later all with peronalised cryptic poem clues, I was led to the top of our Christmas tree where I saw something shiny and sparkling at the top. It was a ring! He got down on one knee and popped the question. It was very emotional and with the family due for lunch shortly afterwards, it certainly was a Christmas Day to remember!
Did you have an ideal venue or location in mind before you began your search?
We both had similar ideas of our ideal venue, we wanted somewhere with grounds (taking the risk of a British summertime wedding we hoped we would be lucky enough to enjoy an outside reception with a view) with a decent area for dancing and drinking. Generally we wanted something with a bit of a wow factor to make our wedding day a memorable and special day for us and our friends and family.
How many venues did you visit and why did you choose Layer Marney Tower?
I saw a whopping 21 venues! As I’m from Surrey and Rich is from Essex, ideally I had dreamed of a wedding close to home so that I could get ready in the family home but 20 venues later nothing wowed either of us. So a friend suggested we come to the Layer Marney Wedding Open Day in February and as we were in Essex over that weekend we popped by. Thankfully we did! We met Karen who showed us around, we tried some of Bouquet Garni’s food and that was it, sold! We both walked away with ‘the’ feeling and just knew it was where we wanted to get married. Luckily they had some dates left for 2016 as we wanted to get married this summer.
How far in advance did you book your wedding day?
We booked in February for an August wedding, nothing like giving ourselves 6 months to play a wedding…it can be done!
Did you have a theme?
We wanted a mixture of formal and informal (Surrey meets Essex!) we opted for a take on an ‘English Country Garden’ theme with afternoon tea style canapes, picnic blankets on the lawn, wheelbarrows of beer and mini prosecco, a gin bar, vintage tea station which worked so well on the grounds of Layer Marney with so much space to play with.
What were the highlights of your day or were there any particularly memorable moments?
We had the cliche wedding day; lovely weather, no hiccup, a chilled and relaxed feel and generally everyone having a great time which is what we had hoped for.
Do you have any advice for Brides and Grooms just starting their wedding plans?
Plan as much as you can as soon as you can, don’t leave anything to the last minute as no matter how long you think you have, in the world of weddings things get booked up months, even years in advance so be orgnaised, get your budget set (but be prepared it will come in over whatever you think it will cost) Get your spreadsheets up and running to keep on top of it all.
From a bride’s point of view I would use Pinterest (see LMT Pinterest boards) don’t bother with magazines as they will drown you with hundreds of ideas, themes and suggestions and it just gets too much.
Ask for help with anything you can; use artistic friends/family to help with the creative side, ask everyone to collect bits and bobs (we did the jam jar thing) Make the most of people’s strengths to relieve you from as much as possible because, believe me, there is so much that goes into wedding planning. We wouldn’t change any of it for the world though and the end result being a beautiful wedding with magical memories to last a lifetime at the start of our married life together.